charisma and charismatic authority

charisma and charismatic authority

special personal qualities or powers claimed by and for an individual (e.g. a religious or a political leader), making him or her capable of influencing large numbers of people who may become the followers of this person. This form of authority, based on an affectual or emotional commitment to a leader, as well as a belief in the extraordinary personal qualities of the leader, is one of three main types of LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY (OR POLITICAL LEGITIMACY) identified by Max WEBER. The term was originally a purely religious one, meaning the ‘gift of grace’. In a religious context, it still refers to individuals or, in some cases, groups of believers, who claim to possess special powers, e.g. speaking in tongues, healing, etc.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000